I am from the islands of Hawai’i, and have recently finished a doctoral degree in Engineering at University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. I am not fluent in Japanese, but after taking some classes and living here, I can at least hold small conversations and not embarrass myself too badly; and of course, I have learned to easily read menus and restaurant reviews… the important stuff! I eat a primarily vegetarian diet, though I sometimes forgo this in order to try new foods while abroad. I often try to indicate on my posts whether places and foods are vegetarian/vegan friendly, since not everywhere I go or write about is.

I live with my dachshund and my husband in a small town near the university, surrounded by farms and sugarcane fields.

My hobbies are eating and hula; I get to dance once a week with some amazing local ladies with a lot of aloha spirit here in Okinawa and they have become a part of my ohana. I teach eikaiwa 英会話 (English conversation) once a week at the Shuri Community Center to some lovely older ladies and gentlemen. I go to the beach and ocean as much as I can, whether it is snorkeling, swimming, diving, or just relaxing. I try to venture out to all corners of these islands, to try food and learn about local culture. I have recently started tea ceremony lessons, and practice wearing kimono.

I love traveling and have been to many places within Japan, and a few other parts of Asia. Unfortunately I have only been to Europe twice (Scotland, Italy & Germany), but one day perhaps I will remedy that when I have time and money.

Right now, this is a work in progress, re: mess; the entries need to be edited and added to. After living here for over 5 years, there is so much I have learned in my little corner of the world and I am trying to organize it all into cohesive thoughts. Most of these entries are a bit “slice of life” and probably not a lot of meaning, just little things that are part of every day life. It is a very informal blog, more of a way for me to organize and collect notes on things I have learned so that I have them for reference. So please enjoy Okinawa from my small perspective.

Also please feel free to contact me about anything you see (or don’t see) on this blog.

Shisa (guardian lion-dogs) from Nanjo

Let us know what you think!